Cold snap reinforces need for volunteers

Tuesday 4 July 2006

Today's cold snap across Canterbury has reinforced the need for volunteers to offer assistance to households and farmers still struggling with the mid-June snowfall.

Rural support offices in Ashburton, Timaru, Fairlie and Waimate set up last week to co-ordinate assistance are receiving offers of support, but more are needed, said MAF regional team leader John Greer.

"Our local facilitators are keen to hear from any volunteers with home and family experience or with farm skills and a rural background," he said.

"We want people with good listening ability who can respond with sensible advice and report back to rural facilitators if specialist social support or farm assistance is needed."

He said the facilitators were aware that many rural families badly affected by the snow storm had not asked for help, even when their circumstances justified it.

"What we are saying is they are not obliged to struggle against the odds and deal with serious term issues on their own, when assistance is available.

"It is also important that neighbours, friends and stock and station agents let us know if they think any family or farmer is having trouble coping."

He said volunteers can call the toll-free number, 0800 2DEFROST (0800 233 376) to register their names. Ashburton 03 307 7130 or 027 600 6707, Fairlie 03 685 9021 or 027 445 4265, Timaru  03 688 4096, Waimate 03 689 6427 or 027 474 3508.

Volunteers accepted will be allocated to a region and fully briefed before undertaking any assignments, Mr Greer said. Any volunteers from outside the affected areas will be eligible for mileage and accommodation expenses.

Further information contact:
John Greer
MAF Regional Team Leader: Tel 0-3-358 1864 or 0-27-432 7692

Further Government Action in Snow-hit Canterbury
(Beehive Press Release dated 10.07.06)



Last Updated: 23 September 2010

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